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Dentist Smile Gallery

Dental Cleaning


Dental CleaningA dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take only between 25 and 30 minutes.  Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup.  Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay.  A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing and polishing.

Scaling: this is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar.

Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has lead to more modern methods such as electric scalers.  This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.

Root planing: this is the process of cleaning pockets in the gums to treat and prevent gum problems.

Root planing is used to treat moderate to advanced gum diseases. When the gum is inflamed, gum pockets become deeper and may lose connections to the bone inside.  The deeper the pockets, the easier it is for plaque deposits to become trapped and worsen gum problems.

Root planing involves inserting a pointed dental tool called scalers into the gym pockets to clean plaque buildup. Depending on the degree of difficulty, root planing may take several appointments and a local anesthesia may be used to prevent pain.

Polishing: this is the last step in tooth cleaning and involves finishing the surface of the teeth to make them shiny and clean.

There are two kinds of polishing: air polishing and rubber tip polishing. Air polishing works by spraying high pressured water mixed with baking soda paste onto the surface of your teeth.  This powered water washes away residue and plaque while baking soda removes stains. Rubber cup polishing uses a low-speed and gentle handpiece that contains a polishing paste made of abrasive ingredients ideal for removing stains.  Back to top
SEALANTS
Sealants are used to fill narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing.  In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them.  To avoid cavities developing over time, the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.  Back to top
 
BONDING
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is performed to repair damage caused by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for other cosmetic purposes.

First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding.  A gel is applied so the resin will adhere to the surface of the tooth.  The composite is then placed on the tooth and the bonding agent hardens with intense light. The last step is shaping and polishing to give a lustrous finish.

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